Due to its functionality and popularity, Java allowed for the creation of applications and services for almost any device and field of use. They range from videogames like Minecraft for PCs through Hospital devices and management all the way to programs for Drones.
Since Java applications are often the backbone of many services, any malfunction has the potential to have catastrophic consequences. APM tools help DevOps and SRE engineers to prevent such events and spot issues before they become severe.
The market offers different types of APM tools ranging from open-source and lightweight Java profilers all the way to complex SaaS Application Performance Monitoring Tools. Let's take a look at some of the best of them in 2023.
1. Better Stack
Better Stack Logs is a structured log management platform based on ClickHouse. It collects and monitors data in real-time from any Java project using Logback. Better Stack Logs automatically recognizes and indexes data stored in JSON format and makes it available for further querying and analysis. Better Stack Logs' advanced built-in collaboration features, resource-efficient ClickHouse, and visually pleasing, dark-mode UI, help you to spend less time debugging and focusing on shipping higher-quality software faster.
Better Stack Logs is a part of the Better Stack ecosystem, and together with Better Stack Uptime, they create a complete observability solution with incident management built-in. With one-click Better Uptime integration, you can easily alert on-call team members of any irregularities in your application's behavior. Be it a specific log message error or a predefined usage trend.
Sentry offers application performance monitoring for Java, Log4j 2, Logback, Spring, and Spring Boot. Sentry identifies Java performance issues and allows for end-to-end distributed tracing to see the exact root cause of the poor performance of any Java Application. Sentry's exception handling sorts and filters exceptions based on specific rules and parameters and create custom tags to simulate the error environment.
Elastic APM is built on top of the ELK stack. It allows for continuous collection of data from Java Applications using their auto-instrumenting Agent. Elastic APM Java Agent automatically measures the application's performance and tracks errors. It has built-in support for popular frameworks and technologies and a simple API that allows monitoring of any application. Agent logs important events, such as databases for database queries and transactions for HTTP requests.
Glowroot is a lightweight and fast, open-source Java Application Performance Monitoring. It traces slow requests and errors and logs every user action, SQL catch, and aggregation. It also allows for historical performance visualization. Its responsive and minimalistic UI allows Java Monitoring from both desktop and mobile devices.
Sematext Cloud offers observability capabilities for JVM-based applications. It provides out-of-the-box dashboards for data visualization, an agent for data collection, and many features for further extension of the platform, such as Log Management, Real User Monitoring, and Synthetic Monitoring.
Stagemonitor is an open-source Java application performance monitoring tool available from GitHub. It allows for private data collection, distributed tracing via Open Tracing API, Alerting, and is fully extendable via 3rd party, community, or custom plugins drafted from scratch. Stagemonitor uses Kibana for dashboarding and visualization. Stagemonitor allows devs to overview performance and issues during development, testing, and deployment and also collects real-time data for correlation. Stagemonitor offers a relatively complex and comprehensive Java monitoring tool.
7. Oracle JMC
JDK Mission Control was acquired by Oracle as a part of a larger ecosystem of solutions, renamed, and then open-sourced. Mission Control is an open-source toolbox for Java Virtual Machine for app optimization, troubleshooting maintenance, and monitoring of apps running on the JVM. JDK Mission Control and Java Flight Recorder can, in tandem, provide a complete monitoring solution to collect data about runtime, performance issues, and draft root-cause analyses and post-mortems.
AppOptics provides application monitoring for Java, .NET, Python, PHP, Scala, Node.js, Ruby, and Golang applications. Solarwinds offers many purpose-specific APM tools, such as SAM or AppOptics. AppOptics offers on-prem, hybrid, and cloud-based distributed applications monitoring. It integrates dashboards to visualize application and infrastructure metrics in one place and ultimately provides unified control of all servers, hosts, internal environments, and serverless environments.
VisualVM is a powerful Java troubleshooting tool with a comprehensive interface. It integrates CLI JDK tools and provides end-to-end visibility of Java applications running on the Java Virtual Machine. The Java Virtual Machine includes tools like JConsole and Jstatt. It collects and visualizes data from multiple Java applications at the same time, regardless of the environment in which it runs.
10. ManageEngine APM
However, Applications Manager is available only in two editions, the professional and enterprise, which makes it quite expensive.
Instana offers an automatic Java Monitoring tool allowing provides a comprehensive set of monitoring features for discovery, health monitoring, automated tracing and code instrumentation, visualization of data, and service dependencies, end-to-end tracing, and automated app and service discovery. Instana's Agent automatically discovers all JVM instances, deploys all the required monitoring tools and sensors, and begins with data collection.
Dynatrace offers an all-in-one platform offering Monitoring, Security, Analytics, and Automation. Dynatrace's Java Applications Performance Monitoring offers automatic and intelligent observability for cloud-native environments and enterprise apps. It enables end-to-end hybrid cloud tracing, service performance optimization, and innovation. Dynatrace's APM offers Automated discovery and mapping, end-to-end observability, mobile, and desktop application monitoring, root-cause and impacts analysis, API monitoring, Application architecture monitoring, service, and container monitoring, and also end-user experience monitoring.
Looking for tools similar to Dynatrace? Explore our Dynatrace alternatives article.
SigNoz collects Java application performance data using OpenTelemetry Java AgentSigNoz is an MIT-licensed, open-source alternative to many APM tools. It's a full-stack observability tool allowing for the monitoring of metrics and traces, with Log management on the way. SigNoz supports OpenTelemetry for instrumentation and offers out-of-the-box charts and visualizations. It runs on either Kafka+Druid or OLAP database ClickHouse for the backend. The Query service is built-in GO, and the front-end is Typescript-powered.
Nowadays, APM is essential for delivering a reliable and successful, modern application in a sustainable fashion. Many SaaS solutions offer automated features for easier deployment and maintenance. Most of the solutions offer from 15 to a 30-day trial period, so you can get your hands on multiple solutions before subscribing and find out which one works for your service the most. Open-source tools, on the other hand, bring in a lot of freedom and customizability. However, they might bring additional toil related to deployment and maintenance and also unexpected infrastructure costs.
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